DR DARREN NAISH
“The idea that the dinosaur family tree might require revision has received a mixed reaction. Given that the result is so novel and, to date, based on just a single study, some advocate caution and scepticism. An alternative reaction is that the proposal is not surprising given the large quantity of new anatomical data collected by Baron and his colleagues. Furthermore, a vague similarity between early ornithischians and theropods has been noted on several occasions in recent years and there have even been suggestions that some early ornithischians – notably the fang-toothed heterodontosaurids – were predators. In recent decades, studies of evolution across the tree of life have resulted in the overturning of many traditional ideas. Consequently, biologists and palaeontologists are by now quite used to the idea that cherished evolutionary models may be shown wrong as new data comes along.
Indeed, the Ornithoscelida hypothesis does better explain several observations. It might explain why theropod and ornithischian fossils share quill-like fibres that grow from their skin while fossil sauropodomorphs have – so far – always lacked such structures.
Studies are already underway to see how this new model stands up to additional tests.”